Coast Guard to hold change-of-command ceremony in Boston

1st Coast Guard District NewsBOSTON — Coast Guard Sector Boston is scheduled to host a change of command ceremony Friday. During the ceremony Capt. Claudia C. Gelzer will be relieving Capt. John C. O’Connor III as the commander of Sector Boston.

Capt. O’Connor assumed the duties of commander at Sector Boston and captain of the port in July 2012. During his tenure he oversaw 1,100 search and rescue and pollution response cases, saving or assisting more 1,600 lives and $16 million in property and mitigating the environmental impact of 275 pollution incidents. In April 2013, O’Connor also led the maritime response to the Boston Marathon Bombing, augmenting the search for the bombing suspects and preventing the maritime transportation system from being used as a means of escape or a venue for another attack.

Capt. Gelzer recently served as chief of the Office of Marine Environmental Response Policy at U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington D.C. In that role, she was responsible for planning, preparedness, and response for oil and chemical pollution incidents in the coastal zone and served as vice-chair of the National Response Team.

Coast Guard Sector Boston extends from the Massachusetts/New Hampshire state border south to Manomet Point, Plymouth, Massachusetts, extending 200 nautical miles off shore.

The change of command ceremony is a time-honored military tradition, which formally restates that the continuity of command will be maintained. It is a formal ritual, conducted before the assembled company of the command. It conveys to the officers, enlisted personnel, civilian employees, and auxiliarists of the Coast Guard that although the authority of command is relinquished by one person and is assumed by another, it is still maintained without interruption.

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